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Solidarity Protest Planned For Greenville Shooting Suspect

Brandon Ray Gonzales, 24, was arrested, jailed, and released eight days later. All charges were dropped.
Hunt County Sheriff's Office
Brandon Ray Gonzales, 23, of Greenville, was arrested and charged with the murders of two men who died in the shooting at The Party Venue near Greenville around midnight Saturday.

A Texas social activist is organizing a protest in Greenville Saturday evening in response to the arrest of Brandon Ray Gonzales in connection with the deadly shooting at a local party last weekend that left two Dallas-area men dead.

Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood, a Denton-based Baptist pastor and activist whose work includes support for various progressive causes, created an event page on Facebook to promote a protest scheduled to begin at the Hunt County Sheriff’s Office at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“Though the Sheriff's Department arrested Brandon Gonzales today, the real killer is still loose,” Hood wrote on the event page. “It is not difficult to come to such a conclusion...for the exonerating facts are many...not the least of which is that a multitude of his friends have testified that he was with them.”

On Monday morning, Hunt County sheriff’s deputies arrested Gonzales, 23, of Greenville. He was charged with capital murder and is being held at the Hunt County jail on one million dollars’ bond.

Sheriff Randy Meeks said deputies found Gonzales at a Greenville auto dealership, where he worked in the service department. Meeks said Gonzales was taken into custody without incident and while he has admitted to being at the party Saturday night, Gonzales has not confessed to any crimes. Officials say they have no motive for the shooting, but still believe that one of the two men killed was targeted by the gunman, with the other shots being random.

About 750 people, including some students from nearby Texas A&M University-Commerce, attended the party at an events-rental venue just west of Greenville. Around midnight, a gunman entered the building and fatally shot two men, later identified as 23-year-old Kevin Berry of Dallas and Byron Craven, Jr., of Arlington, also 23.

Twelve others also suffered injuries, and on Monday Meeks said that one of those injured remains hospitalized in critical condition. Officials stressed that the investigation remains ongoing. However, Meeks did say that he does not expect to make any more arrests in this case.

Hood’s biography at the Chalice Press publishing house website describes him as a graduate of Auburn University, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Emory University’s Candler School of Theology, University of Alabama, Creighton University, and the Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University. Hood was ordained to the ministry at a church in the Southern Baptist Convention in 2006, the website said.

Mark Haslett has served at KETR since 2013. Since then, the station's news operation has enjoyed an increase in listener engagement and audience metrics, as well recognition in the Texas AP Broadcasters awards.
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